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Volunteer or donate

You can make a difference when you volunteer at or donate to the VA Wilkes-Barre Healthcare System.

Become a volunteer

The Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center depends on the goodwill of our volunteers and benefactors to supplement our workforce, improve the workplace atmosphere, and make Veterans’ experiences more enjoyable. Join our volunteer team and experience the rewards of helping our nation’s heroes.

To become a volunteer, please call the Wilkes-Barre health care’s Center for Development and Civic Engagement office.

Phone: 877-928-2621, ext. 27237 or 570-821-7237

Requirements for Becoming a Volunteer

We welcome individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. Because of the nature of care being delivered at our VA, all volunteers are carefully screened and individually matched to their assignments.

Volunteers are required to complete the following:

  • Interview
  • Volunteer Application
  • Background Investigation
  • General Orientation
  • Job Specific Competencies
  • COVID-19 vaccinations and Influenza vaccination

This process is not only meant to ensure the safety and well-being of our Veterans and their families but provide a successful volunteer experience as well.

Volunteer benefits

In addition to supporting Veterans, you’ll enjoy the following benefits as a VA volunteer:

HEALTH BENEFITS
  • Increase your physical and mental activity
  • Improve your physical and mental health
  • Extend your life
  • Free annual flu shot and COVID vaccinations
SOCIAL BENEFITS
  • Make new friends
  • Be part of a team
  • Feel needed, make a positive impact
  • Gain a sense of pride, satisfaction, and achievement
CIVIC BENEFITS
  • Share your skills
  • Give back – contribute to society
  • Fulfill your civic duty
  • Serve those who have served our country
  • Set the example for family, friends, and co-workers
CAREER/EDUCATION BENEFITS
  • Explore career paths
  • Learn new skills
  • Build your resume
  • Earn volunteer hours

Volunteer opportunities

We have many volunteer opportunities for you, your family, friends, and co-workers. Assignments may vary but your involvement can make a real difference in the life of a Veteran patient. Below are our current available volunteer opportunities, however, if you have special skills to offer please contact the Center for Development and Civic Engagement at 570-821-7237 so we can discuss how you can best use your talents to help our Veteran patients.

Allentown, Sayre, and Williamsport Clinic Volunteer: Volunteers greet Veterans and visitors when entering the building, assist Veterans with VETEXT, offer directional assistance, complete reminder calls, and other various components to provide great Patient Experience.

Audiology Volunteer: Volunteers assist audiology technicians with stocking shelves, organizing supplies, and setting up clinical areas for audiologists. This position is available at WBVAMC and AOPC.

Canteen Volunteer: Volunteers assist Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) employees with stocking shelves, unloading merchandise, and prepare areas for seasonal sales. Volunteers also assist Veterans with shopping (if needed) or help customers during their shopping experience.

Caregiver Support Volunteer: Volunteers are assigned as a Peer Mentor to a caregiver as part of the VA National Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program. Through this relationship, Peer Mentors provide advice, support, and guidance to their Mentee, mostly via telephone-mail and informally. Guidance is provided by the Wilkes-Barre Caregiver Support Coordinator. Note: This position is strictly for Veteran Caregivers.

CLC Comfort Volunteer: These volunteers provide assurance, warmth, and individualized attention to Veteran residents in the Community Living Center. Volunteers assist with serving coffee, passing water, escorting Veterans to and from medical appointments in the hospital, and visit with Veterans that would benefit from socialization such as: reading, talking, watching TV, playing cards, etc. Note: In addition to being COVID vaccinated and wearing a mask, volunteers assisting in the CLC must agree to 1x weekly COVID testing through Employee Health to ensure the safety of our Veterans, volunteers, and employees.

Compassionate Contact Corps: Volunteers provide Veterans with conversation and companionship via phone visits or video chat. Visits often involve sharing life stories and topics of mutual interest with a compassionate, friendly voice in a safe non-judgmental process. This is a virtual volunteer assignment.

Courtesy Shuttle Driver: Provide transportation assistance from the parking lots to the medical center to Veterans and visitors who may have mobility limitations. To fill this important role, you must have a current driver’s license and car insurance, pass a background check, and pass a physical exam. 

DAV Volunteer Driver: Volunteer drivers provide transportation to Veterans in need of medical care at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center or CBOC sites. Positions available in the following areas: Allentown, Clarks Summit, Carbon County (Jim Thorpe), Hazleton, Honesdale, Northampton County, Shamokin, Scranton, Stroudsburg/E. Stroudsburg, Tamaqua, Tobyhanna, Williamsport, and Wilkes-Barre. To fill this important role, you must have a current driver’s license and car insurance, pass a background check, and pass a physical exam.

Home Health Assistant: Volunteers assist the Community Care Supervisor with administrative duties such as obtaining physician signatures, mailings, and faxing.

Memory Care Volunteer: Volunteers assist Occupational and Recreation Therapists with keeping Veterans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias engaged during programs such as bingo, cooking groups, functional exercise groups, gardening, etc., assist with activity set-up and clean-up, providing escort to and from programs/activities, engage residents in individual activities such as reminiscence, listening to music, reading, trivia, checkers, chess, etc. Note: In addition to being COVID vaccinated and wearing a mask, volunteers assisting in the CLC must agree to 1x weekly COVID testing to ensure the safety of our Veterans, volunteers, and employees.

MOVE! Buddy: Veterans who have successfully completed the MOVE! program may volunteer to become a MOVE! Buddy. Volunteers offer 1:1 support to current enrollees and assist Veterans in creating their plans of change along with the MOVE! Coordinator. Note: This position is strictly for Veterans who have completed the MOVE! Program.

Food Service Volunteer: Assists Nutrition and Food Service with food preparation, receiving items, proper storage and sanitation, and interviewing Veterans for meal selections.

Primary Care Program Support Volunteer: Volunteers assist with retrieving and delivery of mail to multiple services and sorting mail for multiple medical providers and VA employees.

Recreation Therapy Volunteer: Volunteers assist Recreation Therapists and Assistants with providing escort to and from programs/activities, assist with keeping Veterans engaged during programs such as bingo, cooking groups, functional exercise groups, gardening, etc., assist with activity set-up and clean-up, and engage residents in individual activities such as: reminiscence, listening to music, reading, trivia, checkers, chess, etc. Note: In addition to being COVID vaccinated and mearing a mask, volunteers assisting in the CLC must agree to 1x weekly COVID testing through to ensure the safety of our Veterans, volunteers, and employees.

Red Coat Ambassadors: These volunteers can be found at the Information Desk inside the main entrance of the VA Medical Center. Their red coats or vests make them easy to spot and these volunteers provide assistance with navigation, information, and other various capacities of customer service.

Scranton Vet Center Volunteer:  Volunteers assist the Vet Center employees with special projects/events and  assist with office coverage (answering the phone greeting Veterans) during staff trainings.

Specialty Clinic Volunteer: Volunteers warmly greet Veterans receiving care in the Medical Specialty Clinic on 3West, assist Veterans with effectively and efficiently checking-in and checking-out for their medical appointments, escort Veterans to medical support assistants, and other various capacities of customer service.

Storage Room Specialist: Volunteers assist employees seeking items (i.e.: personal hygiene, clothes, leisure materials, etc.) for Veteran residents, inpatients, and other Veterans receiving care at the medical center or enrolled in a VA program. Volunteers will also ensure employees complete the sign out log appropriately, sort and stock shelves with incoming donations, monitor expiration dates and other duties as necessary.

Travel Claims Assistant: Volunteers will assist Veterans enrolling into the online travel system for travel reimbursement. Must have basic knowledge of web-based applications.

Make a donation

The Center for Development and Civic Engagement supports Veteran residents and patients as well as most services at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, our Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Allentown, Northampton, Sayre, Tobyhanna and Williamsport, and the Scranton and Williamsport Vet Centers. Our mission is to enhance the Veterans’ healthcare experience through utilization of volunteers and donations.

Monetary donations made to the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center help to fund recreation programs and purchase amenities that improve the quality of life for Veteran patients in our Community Living Center (Nursing Home), Mental Health, Substance Treatment and Recovery programs, Hospice, and other long-term and acute care inpatient areas.

In-Kind donations of specific items provide the supplemental resources necessary to support Veterans receiving care at any of our facilities. In-kind donations are goods such as gift cards for transportation, grocery shopping, restaurants, etc., comfort items, clothing, hygiene items, leisure materials, holiday gifts, canteen books, and much more. Rest assured, regardless of whether your donation has a specified purpose, all donations go directly to support the Veteran patients at the Wilkes-Barre VA Healthcare System. All contributions are used 100% to support the needs of the Veterans and are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

In-kind donation suggestions

Some people prefer to give money while others prefer to donate specific items needed by our Veterans and we appreciate all forms of generosity. We accept in-kind donations of specific items to provide the supplemental resources necessary to support Veterans receiving care at any of our facilities In-kind donations should be new, clean and in good condition. Below are some items we always appreciate receiving:

  • Short/Long sleeve shirts (men and women, small - 3XL)
  • Sweatshirts/Sweatpants (men and women, small - 3XL)
  • Briefs/Boxers/Boxer Briefs (small - 3XL)
  • Women’s underwear/Sports bras (small - 3XL)
  • Razors (men and women’s disposable twin blade-name brand only)
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash combos (3 in 1)
  • Gift Cards (Walmart, Target, Gas cards, Grocery Cards, etc.)
  • Hand warmers
  • First Aid Kits
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries (AA and AAA)
  • Adult coloring books
  • Colored pencils/Crayons/Markers
  • Pens, pencils, and pencil sharpeners
  • Notebooks
  • Travel DVD players
  • CD players (desktop)

Download our complete needs list here: Link

Note: We do not accept donations of medical equipment (i.e.: chair lifts, wheelchairs, beds, walkers, bedside commodes, etc.), bar soap, VHS tapes, mouthwash with alcohol, hotel toiletries or used clothing of any kind.

Special donation projects

The Comfort Project assists Women Veterans diagnosed with cancer maintain their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being throughout their treatment, increasing quality of life and chances of survival. Our goal is to provide these Women Veterans with a comfort kit containing items such as: body lotion, small notebook, pen, hand sanitizer, tissues, water bottle/mug, fuzzy socks, leisure materials (word find, sudoku, crossword), and a greeting card with a handwritten positive message.

Download The Comfort Project flyer here: Link

Operation Diaper Bag provides expecting and new Veteran moms the essential items needed to care for a new baby. Diaper bags containing items such as bibs, onesies, burping cloths, baby wipes, diapers, bottles, lotion, wash, etc are distributed to new moms to assist them on their parenthood journey. 

Download the Operation Diaper Bag flyer here: Link

Project Warm provides Veterans facing housing insecurity with items to stay warm during the winter months in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our goal is to ensure Veterans have resources such as hand warmers, scarves, hats, gloves, jackets, blankets, flashlights, batteries, travel mugs, packets of hot chocolate/tea, and other winter necessities.

Download the Project Warm flyer here: Link

The Welcome Kit Project provides Veterans enrolled in Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP) with a kit containing independent tools and resources that can be used while on their road through recovery into living a sober life. Each kit contains items such as adult coloring books, colored pencils, gel markers, pens, highlighters, stress balls, notebooks, leisure materials (sudoku, crosswords, word finds), individual snacks (chips, pretzels, cookies), hard candy, and gum.

Download the Welcome Kit Project flyer here: Link

Contact us

For more information on volunteering, donating items, or to schedule a drop-off time, please contact one of the Center for Development and Civic Engagement team members.

Colleen Kudasik
CDCE Assistant
Colleen.Kudasik@va.gov
Phone:  570-824-3521, ext. 27447

Louis Smyth
CDCE Specialist
Louis.Smyth@va.gov
Phone:  570-824-3521, ext. 27448

Lisa Urban
CDCE Specialist
Lisa.Urban2@va.gov
Phone:  570-821-7237

Amie O'Malia, CTRS
Chief, CDCE
Amie.Omalia@va.gov
Phone:  570-830-7022

In person: 

VA Wilkes-Barre Medical Center
Center for Development and Civic Engagement
First Floor, North
1111 East End Boulevard
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711